Ruskin Bond
Penguin Viking
January 1, 2020
Final Verdict

About the Author

“We have grown up reading his stories”.
More than one Indian generation can say this for Ruskin Bond, who has over six decades given us numerous memorable stories – among them ‘The Blue Umbrella’, ‘A Flight of Pigeons’, and ‘Funny Side Up’. His first novel, ‘The Room on the Roof’, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and for ‘Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra’, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award.
As a freelance writer he has written for many newspapers and magazines over the years, and his repertoire comprises everything – from essays, novels, and non-fiction to, wait for it, over five hundred short stories! – some which have made it to school curricula and the silver screen (Bond even made an appearance in ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ which was based on his story “Sussana’s Seven Husbands”).

Other Works By Ruskin Bond
With Love From The Hills
The Room on the Roof
Vagrants in the Valley
Scenes from a Writer’s Life
Rusty Runs Away
A Flight of Pigeons
Landour Days – A writers Journal
The Sensualist
The Road To The Bazaar
The Panther’s Moon
Once Upon A Monsoon Time
The India I Love
The Kashmiri Storyteller
Delhi is Not Far
Animal Stories
Funny Side Up
Angry River
Roads To Mussoorie
Strangers in the Night
All Roads Lead To Ganga
Tales of Fosterganj
Leopard on the Mountain
Grandfather’s Private Zoo
The Blue Umbrella
Too Much Trouble
When The Tiger Was King
Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra

The Little Book of Everything by Ruskin Bond

The Little Book of Everything by Ruskin Bond would read well even if it opened on a random page, and catch your attention even if you are not looking to read it.

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Everything, everything

While The Little Book of Everything is little more than a collection of quotes, the experiences are not so trifle. It’s a pocket-sized gem (though not portable, because of its hardback), artfully written, and how each quote is written on the page is thoughtful, and makes one think about the process.

It is exactly what it claims to be – a piece of work that will make sense to you no matter what day or mood. Both elation and drudgery find calming draughts in their words. They are not profound by themselves, nor are they path-breaking revelations. But when read with that abruptness, they feel like comfortable layers of fleece that wrap cold shoulders against harsh winters.

The entire presentation (including the cursive lettering and the quote placement)  gives the feeling that a grandfatherly man is giving life advice to his grandkids, via the pages of his personal journal. And there is a little bit in it for everyone.

This is a book you’d ‘finish’ reading, put aside, and go back to it because you’d want to reread a line that happened to affect you more than the others. I suspect it is going to make an appearance in a lot of social media captions.

Overall, this book is small but powerful, doing what it set out to do, and nothing more or less than that. 


The Little Book of Everything’s layout, design, and size are perfect if you want to keep it handy, and adds to his other “Little Book” series (of which there are many). The quotes have been rehashed in some places, and the book is neither new nor pathbreaking. Some of the words and concepts are also repetitive and lead to questioning the book’s purpose.

For those who are expecting a story and substance, it will be a disappointment. It is also not entirely an artist’s book.

However, if you like me like to flip through books for comforting words may find value in having them at your bedside.

The book is worth the buy to keep as a collectable and can be perused anytime, giving food for thought at every instance.

Dhivya Balaji

Dhivya Balaji

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